Do You Have to Know Someone to Get Published?

If you’re a novelist who doesn’t “know someone” in the publishing business, there’s going to be a moment when you feel defeated. You’ll read articles about “how I got published” that all involve the author knowing someone, you’ll see celebrities publish children’s books that are not as good as the unpublished books your critique partners have written, and you’ll start to think that there’s no way you can make it.

I know. I’ve been there. But here are three thoughts to cheer you up.

1. You Might Know Someone Who Knows Someone

I’d been writing quite a while when my mom mentioned my manuscript to her friend. Her friend happened to have a daughter who had a friend who was an agent in New York. I thought there was no way that someone that distantly related to me would offer to read my manuscript, but I was wrong! One of these days, someone you know might remember that they know someone.

2. You Might Not Know Anyone Yet

Enter contests and join writing clubs. You might not know anyone yet, but you might meet someone. I have met an agent and a publisher through contests and another publisher at a write-in. I mean, I’ve met even more agents and publishers than that, but these three actually led to something. Get out there! You never know!

3. You Are Someone

With self publishing, it’s possible that the only person you really need to know is yourself. Do some Google searching on how to market your book, and pop that sucker up on Amazon. You don’t even need to have money. With an investment of a little time, you can learn to format your own CreateSpace book and do quite a bit of free advertising with Twitter, blog tours, calling local bookstores, etc.

You might notice that I didn’t mention the possibility of sending queries to agents and publishers without knowing them. I know this works for some people but I don’t have much personal success with it. I wrote about the three things that have actually happened for me. I hope these three things will boost your spirits. You can do it, Writers! I believe in you!


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